Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Checking in on the 'completion project' at the Anthology Film Archives

[EVG photo from last week]

Back in January, the Anthology Film Archives announced plans to expand their current home at 32 Second Ave. at Second Street. There had been plans for a library and cafe at the space since co-founder Jonas Mekas bought the building in a city auction in 1979.

There's more information about the addition (or "completion project"), which will feature the Heaven and Earth Library & Cafe, in the Anthology's lobby...

Bone/Levine Architects filed permits with the city for the landmarked building in late January. (CityRealty first reported this.)

Here's more about the project, which includes a gallery and bookshop, via the Bone/Levine website:

Originally the Third District Magistrates Courthouse, this sturdy and imposing building was purchased by Anthology Film Archives in 1979 and adapted to reuse, opening its doors in 1989. The establishment of Anthology on Second Avenue was concurrent with the expansion of the East Village as a mecca for the avant-garde arts.

As a screening venue and repository of avant-garde, independent and classic cinema, Anthology Film Archives remains a key component of the artistic vitality of the East Village and for the greater film community. Indeed, nowhere else can scholars and connoisseurs of cinema find such a comprehensive collection of works.

But the restoration and renovation of the Anthology Film Archives is not completed. As designed by the late world-renowned architect Raimund Abraham, Anthology was planned to house two movie theaters, a film vault, a paper materials library, and a cafe. Anthology restored the building and built the film vault and two movie theaters. But the completion of the library, an essential part of Anthology Film Archives’ collection and its mission, and the cafe, an important component of its financial sustainability, were left for the future.

The completion of these essential components of Anthology Film Archives ... is critical for the mission of the Anthology and its long-term stability.

Here's a closer look at the one-level expansion via Bone/Levine...

The Anthology held an art auction last Thursday to help raise money for the addition. Guests included John Waters, Jim Jarmusch and Michael Stipe.

Anthology Film Archives first opened on Nov. 30, 1970, at Joseph Papp’s Public Theater. In 1974, it relocated to 80 Wooster St.

"The time came that we cannot postpone anymore," Mekas told Bedford + Bowery in January. "Because we have so much material, we have so much paper, books, periodicals, documentation on cinema that we have to build a library and make those materials available to researchers, scholars, students."

Anthology in the 90s 😎

A post shared by Anthology Film Archives (@anthologyfilmarchives) on


Anonymous said...

They've been showing these plans since the 90s. I remember I was a young(er) librarian and thinking "THAT would be the place to work!"

Greg Masters said...

The Anthology Film Archives is one of the EV's greatest cultural resources. A refresh with a library, cafe and more room for research and archives, not to mention spruced up screening rooms, will ensure this treasure house continues its presentation of films and film history and continue as a comfortable gathering spot for seekers of meaningful cinema apart from mall sensation.

Cosmo said...

Anthology is a neighborhood/city/national treasure. I'm for anything that keeps it going.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

nice,but i see i'd better enjoy its low-budget charm while i can.:) wishing them all the best with their expansion, Anthology is the best!

RRReality1 said...

Will tickets start to cost $20 ? Will programming start to be taken over by commercial sponsors, The Coca Cola Steven Spielberg Festival ?
Will a coffee in the eatery cost $7 ? Can the Archives continue to resist the over-development inertia of the surrounding area set in motion by the last two mayors -Rudiani the Disneyfier and Puff Puff ( "New York is a Luxury Brand" ) Bloomberg ? I'm thinking of anyone can keep their art house totally their own it is Mekas.

Ann said...

How about an elevator?